COzy soups for the winter
As the temperature drops and daylight fades, my search for warmth leads me to the ultimate winter companion – a steaming bowl of soup. Below are 5 of my go-to soup recipes that have become my daily solace during the colder months. These hearty creations not only warm the body but also embrace the current bountiful offerings of local, seasonal produce.
While these recipes are vegan, these recipes are versatile and easily adjustable to your own dietary preference.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
• 26.5 oz butternut squash (1 small butternut squash)
• 3 carrots
• 1 white onion
• 2-3 cloves garlic
• 2 tsp olive oil
• 1-2 tbsp curry powder
• ⅔ cup red lentils, dried
• 3 cups vegetable broth
• 1 can coconut milk
• 1 inch ginger, fresh
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 4 tsp roasted pumpkin seeds-optional
1. Peel and dice the squash, carrots, onions, and garlic and fry them in oil for one minute in a large saucepan.
2. Peel and finely dice the ginger. Add it together with the curry powder to the pot and fry for another minute. Tip in the lentils, vegetable broth, coconut milk and give it a good stir.
3. Bring it to boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15-18 mins until everything is tender.
4. Use a hand blender and blend it until smooth then season with salt and pepper.
5. Top with roasted pumpkin seeds(optional) and enjoy!
Beet and Kohlrabi Soup
This is also makes a good cold soup for the summer!
• 4 small-medium red beets, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces.
• 2 medium kohlrabies, peeled cut into ¼-inch pieces.
• ½ inch fresh ginger root, peeled
• 4 cups water
• 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
• 1 tsp turmeric powder
• ½ tspground cumin
• ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
• Pinch of ground cardamom
• Himalayan salt to taste
• Dash of lime juice to taste
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Put beets, kohlrabi, ginger, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until beets are fork tender.
2. Transfer soup to a blender. Add spices and lime juice. Purée on high until creamy and smooth. Return soup back to the pot. Add more water if soup is too thick.
3. Add olive oil and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste.
4. Serve and enjoy!
Thai Red Curry Soup with Eggplant and Cauliflower
• 5 shallots, diced small
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1- inch cube of ginger, shredded
• 2 medium-size red bell peppers, diced
• 1 small head cauliflower
• 8 small eggplants
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 cans coconut milk
• 4 cups vegetable broth
• ½ block of firm tofu cut into ½” cubes
• 4-8 tbsp red curry paste (adjust up or down depending on your heat tolerance)
• 8 oz. wide rice noodles
• Juice of one lime plus 2 limes, quartered (for optional garnish)
• Cilantro, for garnish
• Thai basil, for garnish
• Additional salt to taste, if needed
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a large pot, bring about 8 cups of water to a boil and cook the noodles until al dente. Drain noodles with cold water and rinse. Set aside.
3. Cut eggplant into 1” cubes and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, ½ tsp salt and toss. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping at the halfway mark.
4. While the eggplant cooks, place a pot on the stove over medium heat and add the coconut oil and shallots. Sauté onions until translucent and add the garlic and ginger. Sauté the onions garlic and ginger about for one minute.
5. Add half of the curry paste to the onion mixture and sauté for another minute. Add the cauliflower, tofu and red pepper to the pot and continue sautéing for another 3 minutes.
6. Add the coconut milk and broth to the pot and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue simmering for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower becomes slightly tender. Turn the heat to low, and once the eggplant has finished baking, add it to the soup and stir, simmering another 2 minutes.
7. Add the rest of the curry paste a bit at a time, stirring and tasting after each addition until it suits your preference. Finish with the lime juice and add salt to taste.
8. To serve, place desired amount of noodles into soup bowls and pour soup over the noodles. Garnish with chopped cilantro and basil leaves. Serve with a dollop of chili garlic sauce, for an extra kick. Serve with lime wedges for extra acidity, if desired.
Creamy Wild Rice Soup
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 (8-ounce) package crimini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
- ¾ cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup thinly sliced leek (white part only)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced.
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper.
- ½ cup chopped carrot
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup chickpea flour
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme.
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1. Combine the stock, mushrooms, wild rice, leek, and garlic in a 5-quart Dutch oven or soup pot. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes or until the rice is tender (kernels will start to pop open). Stir in the bell peppers, carrot, and salt. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes more.
2. Combine the almond flour and chickpea flour in a small bowl; stir in ¼ cup water. Stir the mixture into the soup. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Stir in up to ½ cup more water to reach the desired consistency. Stir in the thyme and vinegar.
Grilled Tofu miso noodle soup
• 12-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
• 1 tbsp water
• 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
• 1 tbsp liquid aminos
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp onion powder
• 1/2 tsp maple syrup
• 1/4 tsp ground ginger
• Pinch of salt
• 1 cup sliced red cabbage
• 1 cup sliced brussels sprouts
• 1 cup slivered red onion
• 2 cups broccoli florets, bite-sized
Broth and Garnish
• 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
• 4 cups vegetable broth
• 4 cups water
• 1/4 cup liquid aminos
• 6 ounces brown rice pad thai noodles
• 2 tbsp white miso paste
• 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
• 1/4 cup diced green onion.
• 2 tsp black sesame seeds
1. Drain the water from the tofu, wrap tightly in a clean cloth, and press it, by putting heavy objects on top of it, for 15 to 20 minutes. While your tofu is being pressed, prep your vegetables.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together water, sesame oil, liquid aminos, garlic powder, onion powder, maple syrup, and ginger until combined.
3. Once most of the moisture is pressed out of your block of tofu, cut it into 32 pieces (or cut it into quarters, then those pieces in half for 8 rectangles, and lastly cutting those into quarters). Place pieces in a shallow container and pour marinade over the top, moving them around to get them coated. Marinate for 15 minutes, get started on cooking veggies and preparing broth.
4. Heat up your cast iron (use a panini press for those cool, grilled lines) and cook the slices of cabbage and red onion for 2 mins each side. Cook the tofu & brussels sprouts for 4-6 minutes until browned on each side.
5. While the veggies are cooking, warm toasted sesame oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and ginger to the pot and sauté until the garlic begins to brown lightly. Add broth, water and liquid aminos to the pot and bring to a boil.
6. Once boiling, add broccoli and rice noodles to the water, and cook according to the noodles packaging. Halfway through, add in half of the grilled vegetables and continue to cook.
7. When the noodles are tender, turn off stove and stir in miso paste until dissolved. Divide soup between four large soup/noodle bowls, arrange remaining grilled vegetables, grilled tofu, cilantro, green onions, and black sesame seeds on top and serve!
all of these ingredients can be found at the Davis Food Co-op
We were fortunate to have the chance to speak with Emma Torbert from Cloverleaf Farm to hear about the unique structure they have and the sustainable practices that they use. Emma got her masters in Horticulture from UCD and worked for the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis for seven years. Cloverleaf is an 8-acre organic orchard and farm outside of Davis, California on the Collins Farm that specializes in peaches, nectarines, apricots, figs, berries, and vegetables. The Cloverleaf follows regenerative principles including no-till, rotational grazing, and cover-cropping. The farm is co-owned by Emma Torbert, Katie Fyhrie, Kaitlin Oki, Yurytzy Sanchez, Neil Singh, Tess Kremer, and Kyle Chambers; who all manage the farm together in a cooperative and consensus-based fashion. You can find The Cloverleaf Farm’s produce at the Sacramento Farmers Market on Sundays and at various grocery stores in Davis, Sacramento, and the Bay Area.
Cloverleaf seems to break the mold of what a traditional farm functions like. Traditionally farms are passed down generationally within families, but all of your farmers come from diverse backgrounds, how did that model get started at Cloverleaf?
“We started out a group of four women and then the farm passed through a number of different partners. As different people were leaving we were realizing that for the sake of future transitions and the longevity of the farm operation a worker-owned cooperative farm would be best, although we are currently still structured as a partnership. There are currently seven partners right now.”
“We’ve been working with the California Center for Co-op Development for the last four years trying to figure out a way that everybody can own equal equity in the farm. 2014 was the first time that we started profit sharing and equity sharing. The equity sharing is not yet equal but that is what we are working with the CCCD on.”
“One of our core principles in our vision statement is working as a team. An important thing in thinking about farm management for us is recognizing everybody’s different skills and working together without an established hierarchical structure. We rotate who gets to be the crew leader every couple of weeks, so they are essentially the boss for those two weeks, which means everyone gets a chance to step into a leadership role.”
How do you limit your greenhouse emissions?
“In terms of limiting our carbon footprint, we do a number of things. In terms of the transportation of our food, we try to deliver as locally as possible. We purposefully choose markets that are closer and do not take our products further than the bay area. We are always making the decision to try to sell closer to home.”
“As for what happens in the field, all of our vegetables get grown no-till. Our orchards and all of our annual crops are no-till, which means that we don’t use a tractor very often at all. In doing that we use less fossil fuel. We’ve also put solar panels around the farm, and can’t wait until we can add more.”
“Something else that really contributes to greenhouse gas emissions is water use. We use moisture sensors so that we use as little water as possible. We tread that fine line of watering as little as possible without stunting the growth of the trees in our orchards.”
What are your pest management practices?
“We are an organic farm so we don’t spray any pesticides while the fruit is on the trees. We do use pheromone sprays, which disrupt the mating cycles of a lot of stone fruit pests. We put out raptor perches and owl boxes. The main pests that we have trouble with are ground squirrels and gophers.”
How do you try to limit your food waste?
We’ve been trying lots of different things for many years and I feel like this year it’s all coming together, we have very little food waste coming from our farm right now. Our compost pile is pretty tiny right now considering the size of our farm.
“We have an Ugly Fruit club, which allows people to buy our third-grade fruit at a discounted price. We also create a lot of value-added products like jams and dried fruit, which allows us to still sell our less aesthetic fruit instead of wasting it.”
“Something else that we do is donate to the food bank, especially this year when we’re worried about our community being food insecure.”
Have you ever brought home beautiful bunches of greens and herbs only to have them wilt away in your fridge?
Save your money and stop wasting food with simple storage tips!
Greens and Herbs:
Trim the stem ends, place in a jar of fresh water, and place the entire jar in the fridge.
This allows the veggies to re-hydrate and will stay fresh much longer this way.
Use this method for greens like kale and chard, fresh herbs like basil and cilantro, and even vegetables like asparagus!
Most veggies store best in the fridge.
Storing in a plastic bag or within the crisper drawer in your fridge will help keep in moisture and prevent your veggies from getting soft and drying out.
Some veggies such as tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, onion, and hard squashes are actually best stored outside of the fridge in a cool, dry place.
Tip: Vegetables should be stored away from fruit in order to prevent them from ripening too fast!
When it comes to fruit most varieties will keep fresh longest if stored in the fridge, but when it comes to ripening they ripen best outside of the fridge.
Berries, lemons, and apples will all last much longer if stored in the fridge whereas tropical fruits like bananas and mangoes store best on the counter top.